WKU Public Radio News

News Team

The award-winning news team at WKU Public Radio consists of Dan Modlin, Kevin Willis, Lisa Autry, and Joe Corcoran.

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Regional
4:13 pm
Tue April 15, 2014

Campbellsville University Joins Farm to Campus Network

Agriculture Commissioner James Comer, second from right, is presented the Campbellsville University Leadership Award.
Credit Campbellsville University

Campbellsville University has become the sixth college in Kentucky to join the commonwealth’s “Farm to Campus” program. That means the university will work with the state’s Department of Agriculture to put more Kentucky Proud-branded products on the shelves of the Campbellsville University bookstore and more locally-grown food in the university’s dining halls. 

Agriculture commissioner James Comer joined Campbellsville trustees Tuesday at an announcement ceremony.

Asbury University, Eastern Kentucky University, the University of Louisville, Morehead State University, and the University of Pikeville are also classified as "Farm to Campus" universities.

Regional
2:09 pm
Tue April 15, 2014

Danville's Attempt To Institute 'Fairness Ordinance' Delayed

Danville City Hall
Credit City of Danville

Danville’s city manager says unresolved legal questions forced the city’s proposed “fairness ordinance” to be tabled Monday night.  Ron Scott says the measure, which would make it illegal for businesses to discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity, has sparked some intense debate. The ordinance would pertain to employment, public accommodations and housing. 

“The City Commission has heard and the city staff has heard from a variety of folks on both sides of the issue, those in favor of and those against,” said Scott “Those include church groups as well as businesses, in terms of some expressing opposition to and some expressing support for.”

Scott says a poll conducted by Centre College revealed support for a fairness ordinance among Danville residents stood in the “upper 70 percent” range. Six other Kentucky cities including Louisville have implemented similar measures. 

A workshop has been scheduled for April 28th so the city attorney can review the outstanding legal questions revolving around how the ordinance would comply with the state’s Civil Rights laws. 

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Regional
11:10 am
Thu April 10, 2014

Construction May Cause Midday Traffic Headaches Thursday Afternoon

Warm, dry weather means plenty of road construction this afternoon.

In Hardin County, crews are repairing the KY583 bridge over the Bluegrass Parkway.  Eastbound lanes of the Bluegrass are expected to see intermittent closures until 4 p.m. eastern, according to the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet.

Meantime, in Bullitt County, the right lane of I-65 Northbound will be closed until 3 p.m. eastern between mile points 119 and 121.

Regional
3:45 pm
Wed April 9, 2014

Nearly Two Months Later, Final Corvette Pulled From Sinkhole

The 2001 Mallett Hammer Z06 was one of two Corvettes that's whereabouts were initially unknown after the sinkhole occurred.
Credit National Corvette Museum

The last Corvette remaining in the giant, 50-foot sinkhole at the National Corvette Museum in Bowling Green has been removed. 

Crews pulled up the badly-crushed,  2001 Mallett Hammer Z-06 using a crane Wednesday afternoon.

"You would think there would be tears of happiness to pull the last one out, but it's not even recognizable, so I think that created a somber mood among everybody," said the museum's Communications Director Katie Frassinelli.  "You usually save the best for last, but in this case, it was definitely the worst."

The Mallett Hammer was one of two Corvettes that had not been seen since the February 12th sinkhole collapse. 

The car was donated to the museum last December by a Florida couple who modified it into a racing car.  The Mallett Hammer was supposed to be used at the new Motorsports Park.

All eight cars will be on display at the museum through early August. They will then be shipped to Michigan for restoration. 

It took nearly two months to unearth all eight vintage automobiles. 

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Regional
6:26 am
Mon April 7, 2014

Conservative Group Says Kentucky Could Repeal Death Penalty Within 5 Years

Republican Rep. David Floyd of Bardstown introduced legislation this year that sought to repeal the state's death penalty
Credit Kentucky LRC

A national conservative group says the effort to get rid of the death penalty in Kentucky is picking up substantial bipartisan support.  But legislation to repeal capital punishment failed to gain much traction in this year’s legislative session.

In the House, a bill to ban the death penalty was introduced by Republican David Floyd of Bardstown; in the Senate, Democrat Gerald Neal did the same. But neither piece of legislation received a hearing.  

Marc Hyden with the group “Conservatives Concerned About the Death Penalty”, says while progress may be slow, he says within five years, the death penalty could be gone in Kentucky.  He says it’s a rare issue on which Republicans and Democrats can work together.

Hayden rejects the notion that the death penalty is a deterrent.

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Regional
9:54 am
Fri April 4, 2014

Convicted Felon Pleads Guilty in Murder of Pregnant Jamestown Woman

Sarah Hart was murdered during an early morning run in June 2012.

The man charged with murdering a pregnant Russell County woman will avoid the death penalty.  

The Lexington Herald-Leader reports that Christopher Allman entered a guilty plea Thursday to raping and strangling Sarah Hart of Jamestown in 2012. 

The 31-year-old pharmacist was jogging along U.S. 127 when Allman grabbed and pulled her into a wooded area where she was murdered. 

Allman, a convicted felon, told police he attacked Hart in order to rob her.  Hart was ten weeks pregnant with her fourth child. 

Allman’s plea agreement calls for him to serve life in prison with no parole.  The deal spares him a possible death sentence.

Regional
5:14 pm
Thu April 3, 2014

Fruit of the Loom To Shutter Jamestown Plant; 600 Layoffs Expected

Fruit of the Loom announced Thursday it will close the company's Jamestown, Ky. plant, laying off hundreds of workers. 

The clothing manufacturer says 600 employees will lose their jobs.  The layoffs will begin in phases starting in June and the plant will be closed by the end of the year.  Production at the Jamestown plant will transition to facilities in Honduras, according to a press release.

The company says global competition and cheaper production overseas forced the plant to close.  State Representative Jeff Hoover of Jamestown posted on Twitter that he is "devastated" by the news. 

Fruit of the Loom is the largest employer in Russell County. The company is headquartered in Bowling Green.

Regional
10:08 am
Thu April 3, 2014

Corvette Extraction: Seven Down, One to Go

A crane lifts what's left of the 2009 1.5 Millionth Corvette from the sinkhole Thursday morning.
Credit National Corvette Museum

The 2009 1.5 Millionth Corvette is now out of the sinkhole at the National Corvette Museum in Bowling Green. 

The milestone car becomes the seventh Corvette to be retrieved from the 50-foot sinkhole that swallowed eight cars on display February 12. 

The 1.5 Millionth had not been seen since the collapse, and excavation and metal detectors had been unsuccessful in locating it.  Crews found signs of the car during the retrieval process of the Spyder earlier this week.

Initial attempts to pull the car free were to no avail as a large rock appeared to be wedging the rear of the car in the dirt. “Originally, we thought we had to remove the boulder itself to free the vehicle,” Zach Massey, Project Manager with Scott, Murphy and Daniel Construction said in a news release.  “But we were able to free the 1.5 without addressing the boulder as it turned out it was not directly resting on the car, which was a great advantage to us.”

The 1.5 Millionth built in Bowling Green in 2009, is a white convertible with red interior.  It was patterned after the first 300 Corvettes built in 1953 in Flint, Michigan.

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Sports
1:38 pm
Tue April 1, 2014

WKU Football Opener Pushed Back By One Day

The WKU Hilltoppers' 2014 football season opener has been rescheduled.  The athletic department announced Tuesday that the opener against Bowling Green State will now take place Friday, Aug. 29 instead of Thursday, Aug. 28.

The game will be played at Houchens Industries-L.T. Smith Stadium.

The school says the change was at the request of Conference USA and the league's television partners.

It will be the Hilltoppers' first year in Conference USA.  The team is continuing spring football practice this week.

Regional
9:07 pm
Mon March 31, 2014

Owensboro Health Inks Deal To Operate Muhlenberg Co. Hospital

Muhlenberg Community Hospital
Credit Muhlenberg Community Hospital

A new multi-year agreement means Owensboro Health will be taking over operations at Muhlenberg Community Hospital.  The three-year contract officially takes effect May 1st, but hospital officials say the transition process has already begun.  Owensboro Health President and CEO Philip Patterson says his company was looking for a “new and emerging” partner. 

“We, as Owensboro Health are not looking to own all the hospitals and health networks of western Kentucky,” said Patterson "We’re looking for those established networks that will allow us to partner and bring the best and highest-quality of care to western Kentucky." 

Patterson says residents in Muhlenberg County won’t notice any drastic, immediate changes. 

“Our hope is that they will not see any significant change when it comes to the staffing or the look of Muhlenberg Community Hospital, unless it’s to the betterment of the hospital itself,” said Patterson.

Ed Heath, who has been with Owensboro Health since 2008, has been named the CEO of Muhlenberg Community Hospital. He’ll oversee the hospital’s 450 employees. 

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